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November 1931

THE HISTOPATHOLOGY OF TRIORTHOCRESYL PHOSPHATE POISONINGTHE ETIOLOGY OF SO-CALLED GINGER PARALYSIS (THIRD REPORT)

Author Affiliations

Senior Pharmacologist, National Institute of Health; Pathologist. National Institute of Health WASHINGTON, D. C.

Arch NeurPsych. 1931;26(5):976-992. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1931.02230110074003
Abstract

In the first paper of this series1 there was described a peculiar and new type of multiple neuritis which afflicted thousands of victims during the winter and early spring months of 1930. It appeared that the disease had resulted following the consumption of an adulterated fluidextract of ginger used for beverage or other purposes. In that paper consideration was given to the possible causes of the partial paralysis, and experiments were presented which indicated that a phenolic compound, demonstrated to be present only in samples of the adulterated ginger extract that caused cases of paralysis, was probably the immediate cause of the disease.

Subsequent work2 fully confirmed these early tentative conclusions. Pharmacologic examination of the available phosphoric esters of the better known phenols, viz., orthocresol and paracresol, and of phenol itself showed conclusively that the phosphate of orthocresol alone had this specific action on the neuromuscular apparatus. Since

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